BlackBerry taps former Sony-Ericsson CTO to lead new BTS innovation division

The BlackBerry Technology Solutions division comprises several of the company’s key technology assets such as QNX embedded software, Project Ion, and its portfolio of roughly 44,000 patents.

Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

BlackBerry has named Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu as president of the newly formed BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) business group.

The BTS division will focus heavily on BlackBerry's innovation efforts, as it comprises several of the company’s key technology assets such as QNX embedded software, Project Ion, Certicom, Paratek and BlackBerry’s portfolio of roughly 44,000 patents.

As for Chennakeshu, he joins the beleagured mobile company with more than 25 years of industry experience, including serving as president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson. He also appears to have familiarity with the patent game as a named inventor on 73 patents.

But as BlackBerry continues to struggle in mobile market share rankings – it has a market share of less than 1 percent – and profits hover significantly lower than in previous years, Chennakeshu will need to work some serious magic to make a difference on BlackBerry's bottom line.

Still, BlackBerry CEO John Chen remains optimistic as ever, saying both the new BTS business unit and the addition of Chennakeshu will strengthen the company's turnaround efforts by honing in on secure embedded applications and collaborative M2M communication. 

"I am very pleased that Sandeep has joined BlackBerry to lead BTS. QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets," Chen said. "Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy."



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